Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
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17-11-2010, 03:25 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(16-11-2010 11:26 PM)Godless Wrote:  He's (James Randi) offered a million dollars for many years for anyone who can prove to him that a supernatural (or physic) phenomenon exists.
Just highlighting the absurd statement here.
(16-11-2010 07:40 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  As long as you attempted to keep the discussion civil, we all refrained from insulting you as best we could. You threw the first stone here, fr0d0, and continue to throw them regularly. Don't feign innocence.
I was the one to respond if you'd ever let yourself be honest. I hold no hope at all for that.
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17-11-2010, 03:29 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(17-11-2010 03:25 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  
(16-11-2010 11:26 PM)Godless Wrote:  He's (James Randi) offered a million dollars for many years for anyone who can prove to him that a supernatural (or physic) phenomenon exists.
Just highlighting the absurd statement here.

The absurd statement being...? The Million Dollar Challenge is entirely real. Or is it the "proving" bit that you object to? If so, why? People claim to have psychic or other paranormal powers on a regular basis. They also claim that these abilities can be proven to exist, so they apply for the MDC. They just fail, because their powers are bogus.

The MDC is only absurd if one assumes - as you do - that no one can ever offer evidence that the paranormal exists. As we've been over already, this is not the case. If the paranormal exists, you can present evidence for it - and, as in the case of the Million Dollar Challenge, this holds doubly true for when the claims are of an immediately-verifiable nature, such as psychic powers.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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17-11-2010, 03:30 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(17-11-2010 03:25 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  
(16-11-2010 07:40 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  As long as you attempted to keep the discussion civil, we all refrained from insulting you as best we could. You threw the first stone here, fr0d0, and continue to throw them regularly. Don't feign innocence.
I was the one to respond

Meh?

Quote:if you'd ever let yourself be honest. I hold no hope at all for that.

Right back at you, sweetcheeks.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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17-11-2010, 05:52 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(17-11-2010 03:29 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  The MDC is only absurd if one assumes - as you do - that no one can ever offer evidence that the paranormal exists. As we've been over already, this is not the case. If the paranormal exists, you can present evidence for it - and, as in the case of the Million Dollar Challenge, this holds doubly true for when the claims are of an immediately-verifiable nature, such as psychic powers.
I guess this is one of your proofs of logic. I excluded psychic powers (note the brackets) - those are claims of material evidence - which is rightly ridiculed by science. I'm totally on the side of science.

I would gladly bet on James Randi every time. He has a rock solid case. Apparently you disagree. To you the search is still on. Either that or you agree with me that it's an absurd quest.
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17-11-2010, 06:16 PM
 
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
I've been aware of Randi's offer for quite awhile. One should wonder if the man has a million dollars to give, in the first place. And secondly, there's probably a really fancy word for it which escapes me now, (Yeah, like that's a first. Tongue) , but it appears odd that he's an alleged skeptic and yet merits being wrong at such a high price. Which seems to indicate he's not that skeptical or he wouldn't be willing to part with that much cash. (Again, presuming he has that much cash). Not to mention, OK that's obviously a lie Wink, being a Skeptic does it sound like he'd ever truly accept anyone who did possess the ability he doesn't believe exists?

But boy does that offer keep him relevant.Rolleyes

James Randi and his One Million Dollar Challenge fraud
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17-11-2010, 06:23 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(17-11-2010 05:52 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  
(17-11-2010 03:29 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  The MDC is only absurd if one assumes - as you do - that no one can ever offer evidence that the paranormal exists. As we've been over already, this is not the case. If the paranormal exists, you can present evidence for it - and, as in the case of the Million Dollar Challenge, this holds doubly true for when the claims are of an immediately-verifiable nature, such as psychic powers.
I guess this is one of your proofs of logic.

Huh

Quote:I excluded psychic powers (note the brackets)

What brackets? Where?

Quote:I would gladly bet on James Randi every time. He has a rock solid case. Apparently you disagree. To you the search is still on. Either that or you agree with me that it's an absurd quest.

False dichotomy fallacy, as well as a straw man. The search is still on, both for myself and for Randi. That's the whole point of skepticism. However, like you, I would bet on the applicants failing every time, because it is highly unlikely that they would succeed.

Being highly unlikely and having no supporting evidence does not equal being impossible. Thus, the search continues. It will continue forever. Much like the search for God. We can never rule him out, but we have no reason to believe in him. Just like psychic powers and other paranormal claims.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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17-11-2010, 06:41 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(17-11-2010 06:16 PM)GassyKitten Wrote:  I've been aware of Randi's offer for quite awhile. One should wonder if the man has a million dollars to give, in the first place.

Yes, he does. You can see the current standing of the funds here, and the MDC FAQ contains answers to more questions about the money.

The money isn't actually Randi's. It's the JREF's - the James Randi Educational Foundation's. It was donated by an independent party and is being held by Goldman-Sachs.

Quote:And secondly, there's probably a really fancy word for it which escapes me now, (Yeah, like that's a first. Tongue) , but it appears odd that he's an alleged skeptic and yet merits being wrong at such a high price.

"Alleged" skeptic? Randi is practically the forefront of the skeptical movement. You may as well call Dawkins an "alleged" atheist because he challenges theists to prove him wrong.

Randi was a stage magician. He turned to "professional debunking" soon afterward, and was the mastermind behind the exposes of such charlatans as Peter Popoff and Uri Geller. He also founded the JREF, an organization dedicated to promoting critical thought and skepticism around the globe.

So yes. He is a skeptic. What makes you think he isn't? A skeptic is simply someone who bases their belief on what the evidence supports, and who questions things which aren't supported by the evidence. I'm a skeptic. I'm pretty sure that you're also a skeptic.

The reward was originally $1,000. It became $1,000,000 when a third-party donation to the JREF made stipulations that one million of its funds be used to expand the Challenge. And why shouldn't he place it so high? If someone wins the Challenge, they've earned the money, and Randi has made it perfectly clear that he'd be too happy that he participated in the discovery of a whole new field of science to care about the loss of the cash.

Quote:Which seems to indicate he's not that skeptical or he wouldn't be willing to part with that much cash.

I don't think so. See above.

Quote:being a Skeptic does it sound like he'd ever truly accept anyone who did possess the ability he doesn't believe exists?

Randi himself - and the JREF, for that matter - are not involved in the testing. You can see the application form for the MDC here, and more information is available in the FAQ.

All tests are conducted as a scientific study would be. Randi's personal feelings on it do not enter into the equation.

Quote:But boy does that offer keep him relevant.Rolleyes

James Randi and his One Million Dollar Challenge fraud

Sorry to say that that's the first of your links that I haven't found helpful. Torbjorn Sasserssonn is a well-known paranormal believer who is well-known for his rants against anyone who rejects his claims.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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17-11-2010, 07:21 PM
 
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
(17-11-2010 06:41 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Yes, he does. You can see the current standing of the funds here ...
Okie Dokie. Big Grin
Quote:Sorry to say that that's the first of your links that I haven't found helpful. Torbjorn Sasserssonn is a well-known paranormal believer who is well-known for his rants against anyone who rejects his claims.
I admit to being lazy and hungry, so I conducted the keywords search: James Randi million dollar fraud. And that link seemed to strike all the key talking points related to my prior observations.
So I'm something and one, in the ratings. That's still better than my Seahawks are doing this year. Tongue
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17-11-2010, 07:30 PM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
It's no big deal. Don't sweat it - a lot of people get taken in by people like that. I'm an active member of the JREF forums, though, and I've heard all of this before, so I knew where to go to find the relevant information.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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18-11-2010, 01:06 AM
RE: Why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist
Just for the fun of it I'd highly recommend going and looking up James Randi on youtube. The guys' got a ton of great videos both in terms of debunking and in terms of showing how to do some basic magic tricks.
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